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Lamu Archipelago – Kenya

In the Indian Ocean, just off the coast of Kenya, sits the archipelago of islands known as Lamu. Perfectly pristine and stunning, they’re truly the stuff of dreams (and tales of desert islands). With powdery soft sand and crystal clear waters, they’ve long attracted those seeking to switch off.

Not content with beautiful beaches, the Old Town of Lamu has a beautiful 14th Century collection of stone houses, earning it UNESCO World Heritage status. Inspired by both Arabic and Swahili cultures, it’s most certainly an interesting place to visit. But all that changed in 2011 when two separate occasions saw Western tourists kidnapped and killed. Somali gangs were behind these and other attacks since then on tourists staying on the Lamu Archipelago, with terrified and unsuspecting holidaymakers bundled into speedboats and smuggled into neighbouring Somalia.

The UK government advise that attacks on tourists can still occur at any time on Lamu and suggest that travel should only be essential. With the threat of terrorist kidnappings very real in this part of the world, we’re inclined to avoid visiting Lamu, despite its beauty.


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